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Western Digital Caviar SE16 (WD3200AAKS)
Western Digital employs platters with highest density to date in new desktop drive

The hard drive capacity war isn't coming to any end anytime soon and it's obvious from the way the industry’s top manufacturers are raising the stakes. Western Digital is one of those key players and recently introduced a single-platter 320GB desktop hard drive. This new platter density falls slightly behind Samsung's high water mark of 334GB/platter.

The Caviar SE16 series will lead this new 320GB platter into the market starting with a single-platter 320GB desktop hard drive, model WD3200AAKS, that will feature a 16MB buffer and Native Command Queuing. All of the other specifications of this drive adhere to the Caviar SE16 line with a SATA 3.0 Gb/sec interface and a maximum buffer-to-disk transfer rate of 972 Mb/sec.

The single platter, 320GB model will no doubt pave the way for higher-capacity two and four platter drives in the future.

Pricing on the Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB (WD3200AAKS) is listed at $100, but a quick search on your favorite price search engine will show prices as low as $70 from various e-tailers.

Update 1/25/2008: According to a close source at Western Digital, the WD3200AAKS model number is currently in use for the single 320GB platter model as well as the double 160GB platter model until the latter is phased out of the lineup.

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Well Named
By Fnoob on 1/25/2008 10:42:15 AM , Rating: -1
Because caviar stinks.

I have had more of their Caviar drives fail with CRC errors than any other drive. Almost on par with Seagates gen1 15K SCSI drives. Drek.

RE: Well Named
By retrospooty on 1/25/2008 11:02:22 AM , Rating: 1
I have had more good caviar than any other manufacturer. I use strictly WD drives for my stuff. In 10 years and well over 100 systems built I have only had 2 failures. Both were easily replaced under warranty without effort.

RE: Well Named
By tehfire on 1/25/2008 11:14:55 AM , Rating: 2
When I build computers for others or am recommending drives, WD usually comes up, but in my personal experience I have had horrible luck with them. I probably had about 4 WDs in a span of 3 years die out on me, and they all were less than 2 yrs old. I have never had these problems with Seagate, so I stick with them. In terms of reliability Seagate and WD are pretty equal, but for some reason all my WDs die out :-/.

In all fairness the WD drives that I have put into friends' computers are all still happily spinning (and retaining data).

RE: Well Named
By SlingXShot on 1/25/2008 12:27:33 PM , Rating: 2
Do you keep the HDDs cool. You know the computer I built for my dad, the HDDs ran for like 9 years, just failed recently. It happened in one of the hot summer days, the door was closed, window closed, no AC, next thing one of the HDDs failed. Then few days later, the other HDD failed.

RE: Well Named
By TomZ on 1/25/2008 12:44:09 PM , Rating: 2
I seem to remember google releasing some statistics they had that showed that HDD reliability is not sensitive to higher temperature. That of course assumes you don't overheat them, though.

RE: Well Named
By Griswold on 1/25/2008 11:14:59 AM , Rating: 5
I think by know, it should be obvious that the sample size of any individual is by far not large enough to make a statistically waterproof claim about the quality of any given brand.

Buy what you trust in, but dont make definitive statements (and expect people to swallow it) about a whole brand just because you got unlucky with a couple drives.

RE: Well Named
By retrospooty on 1/25/2008 11:22:37 AM , Rating: 1
Well said.

RE: Well Named
By spluurfg on 1/25/2008 11:37:43 AM , Rating: 2
I've had drives die from just about every imaginable manufacturer... Quantum, Matrox, IBM (100%), Seagate, WD... plus non-failure issues...

I have to agree here -- you can't really make a claim on a small sample size. For me, IBM's were the only case where something was clearly and definitively defective on a design level (IBM GXP joy). There are user-submitted surveys which show the number of failure rates submitted for each manufacturer, but even this will be biased, as you will tend to have submissions from users who had hard drives fail. This will have a biased sample based on market share. It's hard to come up with an accurate, reliable, and random way of polling everybody.

RE: Well Named
By DarkElfa on 1/25/2008 2:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
The sweet spot will be when they hit 500gb platters, that will make 2tb drives good to go.

RE: Well Named
By darkpaw on 1/25/2008 4:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
IBM Deathstars were definitely a defective design. Prior to that I would have sworn by IBM drives over anything. During the reign of terror of those 75GB deathstars I saw crates and crates of refurb drives comes through the company I was working at.

RE: Well Named
By Belard on 1/26/2008 4:08:49 AM , Rating: 2
I remember those days... The IBM Deskstars 15/20/40GB drives were the fastest, reliable, quietest drives on the market. I never had one FAIL - EVER.

Then make the STAR-DUST 75 series, which effected 60GB & 75GB drives... what a mess. The click of death.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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